Evaluating Fancy Color Diamonds

The price of a Fancy Color Diamond, is dependent upon a combination of factors. When evaluating fancy colors, the most significant attribute is the hue, tone, saturation, and combination of the diamond’s colors.

Fancy colors that are graded Light or Faint possess a color so light that it can be masked by surrounding stones or even the setting. Thus, they are not nearly as valuable as stones with a more vibrant color grade.

Middle-range stones like Fancy to Fancy Intense can be beautiful and affordable, and top-color grades like Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid are the most stunning, most rare, and most expensive.

The other “C’s” carat weight, cut, and clarity also determine the value of a fancy color diamond. The most significant factor other than color is perhaps not surprisingly the “carat” weight, or size. Fancy colors of even just a few carats are remarkably rare, and a larger stone can fetch a significantly larger price than a similar smaller stone. All other things being equal, higher clarity and more attractive cuts may command higher prices.

While fancy colors are rare to begin with, some colors are rarer than others. Brown and Yellow are a continuation of the spectrum of colorless diamonds and therefore the most common. Blue is very rare, Pink is extremely rare, and Red is the most rare and therefore most valuable per carat. Still even more rare are stones of a pure color, since most fancy colors contain “secondary hues” or “overtones”. While secondary and tertiary colors give the stone a unique character, purer colors will demand a higher price.

Of course, a natural fancy color diamond will cost much more than a diamond that has been treated to enhance its color. VMK deals exclusively in natural fancy colors.

Unlike with colorless diamonds, there is no universally set agreement between buyers and sellers for what diamonds of certain standards and grades should cost. It is therefore imperative to purchase from a reputable dealer with verifiable experience in the field.

Clarity

The clarity of a diamond is a measure of the presence of inclusions and blemishes on the stone. The GIA rates clarity on a scale of Flawless – no inclusions or blemishes visible under 10x magnification, to Included – where inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification.

Clarity of Fancy Colors is not anywhere near as important as it is with colorless diamonds. Usually inclusions are masked by the diamond’s color, and therefore they are not taken into account very much when evaluating cost. The most important thing is that it should not be possible to see inclusions with an untrained eye. A fancy color with deeper color and lower clarity is much more desirable than one with less vivid color and more clarity.

Carat

Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. A metric "carat" is defined as 200 milligrams. A single carat = 0.2 grams.

Cut

Diamond cutting requires a combination of technical mastery and artistry. The skill involves understanding of how the light passes through the diamond, in order to cut in a way that will enhance its natural beauty.

Fancy color diamonds are cut to enhance and emphasize their color intensity, using cutting methods that lengthen the light path within the diamond.Often, this results insquare, radiant, and oval shapes cuts. The further a light ray travels through a colored diamond, the more it deepens the stone's color.

For this reason, colorless diamonds are frequently cut in rounds, to eliminate traces of color as much as possible by stopping the travel of light through the diamond, which would highlight trace colors, the very same thing that is considered such an asset among fancy colors.

Attributes that are affected by cut:

Brightness:A measure of the internal and external white light reflected.

Fire: The scattering of white light into various colors.

Scintillation: a measure of the amount of sparkle a diamond produces and the pattern of light and dark areas caused by reflections within the diamond.

Center Stones

Round Brilliant

This classic shape is the most popular among colorless diamonds, but is sometimes used in fancy colors. It features 57 facets to bring out the most brilliance.

round diamonds

Princess

Square or slightly rectangular shapes with pointed corners and an array of facets bring out the diamond's inner sparkle.

Emerald

The long lean lines and a relatively large, open table associated with its namesake distinguish this cut and show off a diamond's clarity

Asscher

Sometimes referred to as a square emerald cut, though wider cropped corners may give it more of an octagonal shape, this diamond shape gives the appearance of concentric squares when viewed from the top. This shape, created at the turn of the 20th century, shows off more brilliance than the traditional emerald cut and has recently become very popular.

Radiant

This modern cut combines the classic geometrical lines of the emerald shape with the fiery brilliance of the round cut. Its 70 facets will easily reveal any inclusions or imperfections.

Cushion

Rounded corners and large facets show off the brilliance of diamonds featuring the “pillow cut”, as it is sometimes referred to.

Marquise

This dramatic oval shape with tapered points traces back to 18th Century France. It gives the appearance of a larger diamond than other shapes with the same carat weight.

Pear

This cut combines the soft, rounded end of the Oval shape with the tapered point of the Marquise, creating an elegant teardrop.
pears

Oval

This cut has all the brilliance of a Round cut, but its larger table surface area generates the appearance of a larger stone. The elegance of the elongated shape also slenderizes when used on a ring.
ovals

Heart

A popular choice for engagement rings, this shape is particularly stunning when used with fancy colors such as yellow, pink or red.

Side Stones

Shield

This cut creates a shape most reminiscent of the classic diamond shape, with a triangular bottom and top edges that taper inwards. Stones with this cut are found mostly as sidestones or as on dangle earrings.
 

shield

Bullet

Like its namesake, this shape is formed by 3 sides of a square and a pointy fourth edge. They can be step or brilliant cut and typically are used as a matched pair flanking a center stone on a ring.

Kite

Some kite shape diamonds have flat tables and are most reminiscent of the classic diamond symbol when viewed from the side, while others have a pointy top, closely resembling the toy that gives it its namesake. Kites are typicaly used in matched pairs as side stones.

Trilliant

The brilliant-cut triangle trilliant, also known as trillion, tends to look large for the relative carat weight and brings out a lot of the diamonds fire. It can be a traditional triangular shape or a more rounded triangle shape. These can be used as accent stones or stand on their own as unique solitaires.

Baguette

Small, elongated diamonds are cut into these rectangular shapes, characterized by square corners and rows of step-cut facets parallel to the table. While similar is shape to the Emerald cut, the Baguette cut usually has only 14 facets, as opposed to the Emerald’s 50+ facets. Baguettes are commonly found as accent stones or channel-set into bracelets or rings.

Halfmoon

When used as semicircle or half oval matched pairs, halfmoons make classic side stones for rectangular, cushion, or oval-shaped center stones.

Trapeze

The trapeze or trapezoid cut is a unique style evolved from the taper and baguette cuts and is best suited for large  side stones.

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